Powell – ‘Fizz’ 12″ [Liberation Technologies]

Amazing record this, from an incredible producer who’s yet to faulter. Powell releases have been “buy-on-sight” since he christened his own Diagonal imprint with The Ongoing Significance Of Steel and Flesh EP back in 2011. Complete with a Karl O’Connor remix, that record was the start of Powell’s punk-rock attitude towards machine music. The Body Music EP that followed was a further exploration down this path, adding more live sounding-elements to the mix but keeping the patterns strictly left of techno.

As opposed to the ‘Untitled‘ tracks on The Death Of Rave that dropped this year – which itself was a stunning record –  Fizz is more a follow up to these earlier two plates. Powell further pushes the lo-fi band feel, and does so without losing the underground electronic tip; his own unique formula that just keeps developing with every release.

Kraut elements and influences flow throughout all three tracks, with ‘Wharton Pier On Drums‘ a track that starts off as a computer game but would equally be at home on an Ike Yard LP. The title track ‘Fizz’ continues in a similar vein only merging more with noisy distorted low-end layers, a reminder of The Death Of Rave as the track slowly builds aggression, on-edge listening littered with one shot samples and solo electric guitar notes. Close to perfection in my opinion.

The whole record’s quality, that whole chaos-in-repetitive-structure mentality that Powell does better than most everyone else. Pick it up soon-ish though as Powell stuff doesn’t last that long, especially with releases like this on the ever-good Liberation Technologies. You can check the title track below, press release under that.

via Liberation Technologies

London’s Powell works with opposites, in a way that’s delightfully disconcerting. His tracks, on the surface, seem relatively uniform – but listen closer, or at punishing volume, and they teem with detail: wiry guitars, sinister yelps, synth figures that fizz like bubbles through sparkling water. Across two EPs in 2012 for his own Diagonal label and one for Death Of Rave in 2013, he has established himself as one of the UK’s most unique electronic musicians. 

Powell’s tracks flirt with the dynamics and structures of club music while joyfully subverting them, throwing acoustic sound sources or disembodied voices into the mix to play havoc with the groove. Indeed, the three tracks on his new Fizz EP for Liberations Technologies are some of the most mischevious club-rooted music you’re likely to hear all year. They nod obliquely to Powell’s history with jungle and early drum & bass – compared to the techno-esque momentum of his earlier releases, here he’s almost subliminally ratcheted up the tempo, turning these tracks into blistering forward barrages of percussion and dusty bass. 

On ‘Fizz’, sub-bass throbs like a motorbike engine, paired with his distinctive guitar scribbles. ‘Wharton Tiers On Drums’ sets panicked vocal cut-ups to a rapid motorik chug. And the sketchlike rhythmic pummelling of ‘Beats’ plays almost like a DJ tool, a reminder that even this strangest and most angular of music can lay waste to dancefloors.